latest, Russia, Skripal case

The Framing of Russia

David Macilwain

*(Mark Sedwill Image credit: ResoluteSupportMedia/flickr)

On the first of May, the UK’s National Security Adviser Sir Mark Sedwill told MPs that the agencies he oversaw – MI6, MI5 and GCHQ – had no information on who was responsible for the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter two months earlier.

Three days later police searched the room in the City Stay Hotel used by “suspects” Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov, and took swabs which were “found to contain Novichok” by Porton Down. The police did not make this information public until September 6th, when they chose to break the story of the now notorious “Russian assassins”.

As I have speculated before, and as is now becoming increasingly clear, the “suspects” put in the frame by the UK government were evidently known to its intelligence agencies long before Mark Sedwill’s denial, and in fact before they even reached London, on their way, we are told ad nauseum, to hit the Skripals with toxic perfume.

Obviously that story is not true, but it now appears that the mission assigned to the unwitting Russian couple was much more than simply to be caught on CCTV in the vicinity of the elusive Skripals, and that they were a pivotal part of “Operation Nina” – both in the planning stages and in the extended “action phase”, currently playing out in the media and institutions of the Western world.

The researches of Elena Evdokimova, explained in systematic detail on her twitter account, allow us to turn what was previously just informed speculation into solid assertions which now look “highly likely” to be true, and which then become a basis for further well-informed speculation. I use the term “highly likely” with reservation, having previously argued that it lies a long way from certainty. In this context however, it’s only fair to adopt Mark Sedwill’s own interpretation of the phrase as meaning “100% certain”, bizarre as that is.

This adjustment to the standard of proof by the UK’s intelligence agencies was contained in an intelligence briefing to NATO’s chief Jen Stoltenberg, made public on Friday April 13th – the day before the combined US/UK/French missile attack on Damascus. Without labouring the point, it’s worth quoting from Sedwill’s letter to NATO.

Sedwill wrote:

I would like to share with you and allies further information regarding our assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian state was responsible for the Salisbury attack. Only Russia has the technical means, operational experience and the motive. The term “highly likely” is one commonly used by the intelligence agencies when they believe something is 100% certain – since they are unwilling to express that opinion without a caveat in case of error.”

Sedwill wisely left himself a caveat however, concluding that: “there is no plausible alternative explanation.”

So how might we classify “implausible” on the scale of probability? Implausible certainly doesn’t mean impossible, nor perhaps even “highly unlikely”. But to say something is “not plausible” is to make a judgement that reflects one’s point of view, or in this case the UK’s strategic attitude. The “explanation” for the attack on Sergei Skripal being offered by the UK government and its top advisors is clearly not plausible in Russia’s eyes, nor in those of most independent observers and commentators.

In fact the UK’s story – its cover story for “Operation Nina” is virtually impossible, besides being highly improbable and completely inexplicable in its finer details; those have been sufficiently explored not to need repeating, nor do they merit any further attention. It’s already evident that no amount of scientific analysis and careful reasoning can counter this intricately constructed spy story or its stranglehold on Western mainstream media and the public mind.

Ironically it is now the one area of weakness in Russia’s defence against these delinquent charges that offers the greatest opportunity, centring around the question of what exactly Petrov and Boshirov were doing in Salisbury. This has been a weakness that the UK and its minions have exploited to the full, and that also challenges those of us trying to defend the Russians’ innocence.

What has been revealed by Elena Evdokimova and her sources however, appears to show that UK agencies were selecting and cultivating suitable Russians to use as patsies in psy-ops against Russia, with Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov picked out for “Operation Nina”.

The whole story of her research and discoveries is told on Elena’s twitter thread, and should be read in detail, but in essence it goes like this: (it focuses on Ruslan Boshirov – who Eliot Higgins/Bellingcat claim to be Anatoly Chepiga and a GRU agent.)

Ruslan Boshirov applied for a replacement 5 year foreign passport in 2016 through a private agency, submitting copies of his previous passport from 2011 and his Russian ID from 1999. As Elena says:

  1. #Skripal None of the photos Bellingcat produced were the photos of Chepiga. All 3 – are the photocopies from the documents that were needed to apply for a 5 year foreign passport and they were all photos of Boshirov. But the plot is much more sophisticated than we imagined.
  2. Not long after Boshirov submitted his application to this private firm:

  3. 30-40 sets copies of people’s documents (those who applied for a foreign passport through that firm) were stolen by a criminal in 2016. That’s why the passports Bellingcat is forging have the same series and consecutive numbers – they were stolen at the same time & place.
  4. The criminal sold those documents to a foreign entity.
  5. These documents also included details of the individual’s work history and military service.

  6. They also had the photocopies of people’s new foreign passports they stole, including Boshirov’s passport. One photocopy was already used to fake the “Shirokov’s” passport (see Montenegro’s 2016 coup False Flag).
  7. So those to whom that criminal sold the photocopies knew where to contact people whose documents they stolen. They had their places of employment.
  8. That’s what they done- they offered Boshirov & Petrov (a gay couple who seem to be involved in something a bit shady- steroids?human growth hormones?) to deliver something to somebody Salisbury, somewhere near the #Skripal’s house or, maybe, maybe even to Skripal himself(?)
  9. Boshirov and Petrov were handsomely paid and did not even think twice – who does not want to have a paid holiday just to deliver/pick up a small thing, maybe documents, prescription drugs, steroids or whatever.
  10. But whatever they picked up/delivered was not quite legal, so both did not want to mention it. As Putin said- not much of a criminal they were. That’s how they were in Salisbury at the right place at the right time. And suspiciously spent only 3-4 hours there each day.
  11. While being in Salisbury they were also sightseeing, looked at famous cathedral, which is actually amazing. When they came home- people who used them stopped sending them overseas. There was no reason to- the patsies done what they were planned to be used for.
  12. Meanwhile, Boshirov and Petrov discovered in horror that they were used, accused in poisoning #Skripals and, being not the brightest people – they decided not to tell about their shady delivery, especially on TV. So they looked even more suspicious.

Which all sounds rather plausible. In the plausibility stakes in fact, this whole story – which as Elena observes is only hypothetical – rates at least as “highly likely”, if not quite “beyond reasonable doubt, and is a substantial base on which to mount further speculation and prediction on the conspirators’ next moves.

That the UK government, its agencies and assistants are the conspirators, with everything that this implies, can however no longer be in doubt.


  1. John Marks says

    The “Framing of Russia” was even more effective in the “investigation” of the MH17 atrocity.
    The Dutch and Malay authorities inexplicably allowed the Kiev régime – an obvious suspect – to be one of the investigators. Not only that, but Kiev was given complete control over what would be reported and Kiev would also decide what was to be kept secret! Why anything should be kept secret in an impartial investigation of an “accident” is not answered. Needless to say, Russian offers of help with observer reports and technical information were rejected.
    This “investigation” blamed Russia, but Kiev’s “investigation”:
    1. refused to hear the eye-witness testimony of a pilot who saw the plane shot down;
    2. refused to ask the Kiev air-traffic control why MH17 was diverted to the conflict zone contrary to protocol;
    3. refused to release MH17’s ‘black box’.

    This was not an investigation: it was a very sick ‘joke’ that colluded with exonerating the CIA régime in Kiev of the cold-blooded murder of over 200 innocent passengers.

  2. Sam says

    This has been a UK caper out of FCO from the get-go which might have went out of control re Dawn Sturgess, however there could be a number reasons why (UK nationals) drunks/junkies were used to return the ‘evidence’.

    Porton Down so near the event, the story would have increasingly been tied to PD without the perfume bottle.
    Recovering the ‘evidence’ removes PD as the source of an unsafe poison/chemical release.
    The perfume bottle nozzle design just so happens to fit the door handle smear theory put out by UK Gov.
    Drunks/junkies memory less reliable and vague at the best of times.

    Out of respect for this site I won’t link the article I have in mind but do you remember Boris Johnson resignation, and the photo spread of him with the resignation letter on the desk etc. Remember the date?

    8th July 2018 – Dawn Sturgess dies.
    9th July 2018 – Boris Johnson resigns.

  3. Thomas Peterson says

    But how do the hypothetical plotters in UK intelligence who lured Boshirov and Petrov to Salisbury know that Boshirov and Petrov won’t go on TV and tell the whole story?

    • Admin says

      What do you think would be the result if they did?

      • Paul X says

        The two Russians are in a better position than the 15 handed assisination team from Saudi Arabia; some of those are likely to end up accused of a ‘rogue’ killing as the only way to get out of the murder allegations. Shades of Who will rid me of this unruly man? Wonderful piece of pure gangsterism when Trump said he ‘thought’ he discerned the King thinking that but not saying it. They’re used to such problems in Brooklyn (and Langely). Putin’s response wasn’t that different – get them on TV to highlight their incompetence while, presumably, their Bosses lie awake at dawn. In The KSA there will have to be a trial in secret, following the British model. That’s if the ‘rogues’ don’t do something silly like ‘try to escape arrest’. 3 rogues should be enough with the others very willing to back up the evidence, like an American trial where the evidence comes from people arrested but not charged or yet in custody. Such witnesses only have to be constrained in making it up to the point of fantasy. They are a Prosecutor’s best friend – ask Mr Mueller!

      • Thomas Peterson says

        Well assuming they were set up and met contacts in Salisbury for whatever illegal activity, they could give details of all that and people could investigate?

  4. rtj1211 says

    My ICYMI sketch involves a dirty deal between Putin, Treeza, the FA and FIFA to create public heat on Putin so he allowed England to do well at the World Cup. Fixing the draw, opening up the knock out draw. Then Vladi and Trump saw how hot the Croatian President was so the semi final was a fair fight. Which is why it all started up again in September….

    The Germans were in on the bung in return for crashing out early, earning German insiders £50m in match fixing revenues.

    Maradona imported 100 kilos of coke via private jet to help the 2030 bid team. All the self-righteous Tory Ministers missed a trick there….

    And the Americans kept their mouth shut after getting 2026 and 2028 Olympics.

  5. vexarb says

    [Seemingly off topic but actually on topic — if you remember this frenzied Demonization of Russia ignited when Russia came to Syria’s aid, around 2013. The more so as Russian help has been effective, according to analyst Canthama BTL SyrPer]

    Canthama reports: “Meanwhile in Syria, good news all over:

    1) Nassib border crossing with Jordan was officially re opened today, traffic getting back to normal. This opening will help trade flow by roads from far aways countries like Kuwait, Iraq, KSA countries to Syria and Lebanon, through Jordan. Besides trade between Jordan, Syria and Lebanon will quickly pick up. This is very positive for Syria and Syrians.

    2) Quneytra border crossing was officially re opened today. Though there is no trade on this border crossing, it benefits the large Syrian community under Apartheid Regime occupation of the Golan and vice versa.

    3) Backstage deal between Syria-Russia-Iran-Turkey-Jordan-US on the solution of al Tanf. There seems to be some progress in moving radical NATO backed terrorists to Jarabulus, once this is done, Rukban refugee camp would be decommissioned and starving civilians would be allowed to return to their villages in Syria from their hostage situation under NATO and terrorists. In the next few days we may have some official statements of it. The pressure is high to liberate Rukban refugee, and more now that Nassib border crossing was reopened.

    4) Dozens of heavy hardware arriving daily in al Safa region, ISIS under severe pounding by heavy artillery and missiles, it seems the SAA has shifted their strategy to advance with ground forces that showed costly in lives to flatten the moon line terrain.

    5) Last but not least, the National Museum of Damascus will reopen by late October, this is a major event for locals and foreign visitors, it is a remarkable museum with a rich collection of Prehistoric Age, Ancient Syria, Classical & Islamic Ages.

    Syria is healing.”

  6. While I am interested in exploring why the murder of Khashoggi should be of such interest to the US, when it has collaborated with that regime and its terrorist armies in the deaths of tens or hundreds of thousands of people in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, I also think we need to keep our eyes on the Russian ball. The sequel to the “GRU agent” story – on which I am now writing – has expanded the spread of the Skripal conspiracy far beyond the UK, particularly into Ukraine.
    There is one thing to say about Khashoggi however; this is a internal conflict between the two countries who organised the invasion of Idlib by the “Army of Conquest” in March 2015, which coincided with the KSA/UAE murderous attack on Yemen, and led to Russia’s direct involvement in Syria. It so happens that as world media talk about Khashoggi and flock to Istanbul, the joint Russian Turkish DMZ deadline has been reached; today was supposed to see the Saudi-backed HTS/Al Qaeda leave the zone, after removing their heavy weapons. They haven’t done so, and there has been precious little mention of it in the media. What will happen next?
    The possibility that the Khashoggi business could be a set-up has to be amongst the considerations…

  7. Peter Schmidt says

    Off topic, but I found a person’s comment on MoA very good and interesting. Makes a lot of sense;

    :”Consider this.

    The empire is siding with a faction opposed to MBS and his plans to modernize and remake Saudis economy and become less dependent on oil and the petrodollar. MBS may be deemed less controllable than others.
    John Bradley is a former colleague of Mr Khashoggi’s .In an article called for The Spectator he said Khashoggi ‘had dirt’ on the kingdom’s links to al-Qaeda before the terror attacks on September 11, 2001.

    Khashoggi befriended Osama bin Laden in the 1980s and 1990s in Afghanistan and Sudan.At the time, he was employed by Saudi intelligence services to persuade bin Laden to make peace with the Saudi royal family.

    Ultimately, he was one of the only persons outside the royal family who knew details of their links to bin Laden.

    3 .Turki bin Faisal Al-Sabud wasKhashoggi’s political protector. During the reign of King Khalid , Turki bin Faisal Al-Saud was at the center of relations between Washington and Saudi Arabia working against the USSR while it was in Afghanistan, with the help of foreign fighters ( who later became known as Al Qaeda) . Following the end of the war in Afghanistan in 1982, Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud became king until 2005.

    During this period, Faisal became a leader within Saudi intelligence, leading to him becoming the undisputed leader. He was conveniently removed from his post in May 2001, a few months before September 11 (in the US a similar change happened at the FBI with Mueller taking over right before the attacks) .

    From 2003 to 2005, Turki bin Faisal served as ambassador to the UK and took Khashoggi his personal advisor.

    In 2005, Turki bin Faisal was appointed Saudi ambassador to the US during the Bush administration, with Khashoggi accompanying him as a media advisor.

    Faisal in subsequent years was sued along with other Saudi operatives by relatives of 9/11 victims

    Last March a US District Court judge in Manhattan ruled that 9/11 victims’ lawsuits against Saudi Arabia under the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) have standing and will go to trial.
    I would think the victims would want to bring Khashoggi to the stand given his knowledge of Bin Laden and Faisal, and his accessibility as a US resident (cant hide him in Saudi Arabia)

    Sadly this potential witness is unavailable. Who knows what secrets might have emerged under oath that would be inconvenient to those in US and Saudi Arabia should they be revealed

    So Khashoggi’s disappearance removes him as a potential witness, protecting a faction of the Saudi Royals in power in 2001 and those in US at the time, and helps pave the way for the removal of a young MBS who wants to modernize Saudi Arabia and attract investment dollars in competition with the US. His removal from power serves the interests of both the Empire , Turkey and Khashoggi himself (assuming he is alive and in a safe house somewhere)

    I don’t know what the real story is but I question anything MSM and those they serve are trying to push.”

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says

      But al Qaeda had nothing to do with 9/11. As Osama said at the time. Besides, a New York ‘court’ declared that Iran did it.

      • vexarb says

        Mulga, pray forgive a slight quibble over your statement that Al Qaeda had nothing to do with 911. True, Osama bin Laden was framed (and I admit to swallowing that preposterous story at the time). But surely “Al Qaeda” as the name on a CIA file for the Bush / Obama regimes’ fake War on Terror had everything to do with 911?

        Sorry if I seem pedantic.

        • Admin says

          There’s an interesting discussion to be had about the precise extent of al Qaeda’s involvement in the events of 9/11, and we’ll probably be opening it up for analysis in the future, but let’s not get diverted into it too much here.

          • Stephen says

            Disconnecting the Dots by Kevin Fenton and Another Nineteen by Kevin Robert Ryan explain much of who dunnit.

      • Antonia says

        True if al Qaeda means a database, as I think Robin Cook said.
        I have tried to verify if this is true unfortunately both my Mother and Uncle who knew some Arabic are not alive.

        I suspect Iran has nothing to with 9/11. Much to convenient!

        • Ana says

          Off course not! Al-qaeda is a dará base which is known by lots of people that can use it whenever needed!

      • Yarkob says

        loving your input. exactly which parts are “twaddle” and which parts “disinformation”. this presupposes you have real information? fess up then, brains..share it with all of us

  8. davemass says

    Not very convincing, I’m afraid.
    Too many ifs and buts.
    Just get them to show us Skripal and Bailey-
    BTW, is/was Bailey an actual cop? Have the MSM / RT tried to look at his service record?
    If UK MI6 know about the Ruskies, surely that info must be available in UK?!

  9. davemass says

    Not very convincing, I’m afraid. Playing into UK’s hands.
    Too many ifs and buts.
    Just get them to show us Skripal and Bailey-
    BTW, is/was Bailey an actual cop? Have the MSM / RT tried to look at his service record?
    If UK MI6 know about the Ruskies, surely that info must be available in UK?!

  10. Not on topic because re Brazilian election, nevertheless a good account of how the media deceive the sheeple. From real news reporter Canthama BTL SyrPer:

    “it is hard to follow what it is really truth vs fake news right way, too many from both sides, and unfortunately the alternative and main stream medias are not making things clear to the public in general. There was little to none decent interviews with both candidates and when there is, it is short, structured and do not test them in all aspect of Governance, tending to keep the subjects superficial or what is polemic for public consumption at the moment (public safety…Corruption…race/gender…), instead of debating how to fix the Government fiscal deficit, to fix the poor education system, to fix the social pension system, to fix the high unemployment etc…
    Too many International articles on this election are not grasping the real deal but only what is in the superficial debate, unfortunately the labels used for both sides from all international media are not helping at all the wider global public to understanding.”

    The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed. — Dante, Divina Comedia

  11. Gary Weglarz says

    The only thing that comes close to how absolutely bat-shit loony the official story is on the Skripnal’s is the idea that 50 thousand dollars in Russian click-bait ads with no discernible political message somehow stole the U.S. election for Donald Trump and proves Trump is Putin’s puppet. The absolutely surreal slap-stick comedy nature of both of these absurd official stories says a great deal about how our elites view their respective publics.

    Of course speaking from the U.S. I must say that a public that could accept the need to hypothesize the existence of a “magic bullet” to explain the assassination of John F. Kennedy suggests a public willing to believe anything but the very sad and real truth that they are ruled by amoral greedy psychopaths and have been for many decades.

    • “.. a public willing to believe anything but the very sad and real truth..”

      ‘A nation of sheep, ruled by wolves, owned by pigs’

      Apart from the obvious defamation of anthropomorphised creatures which are truly our moral betters on this earth, I see absolutely no exaggeration in this characterisation of our predicament.

  12. mark says

    I believe the Khashoggi disappearance / murder could be another Skripal style false flag.
    Shady Wahabia is a very unsavoury regime that routinely crushes dissent, but they tend to just hire slick PR firms and just buy off the corrupt western MSM.
    This came just after Trump did his two bit mobster routine with Shady Wahabia, “You gotta pay us! You gotta pay us!! You gotta pay for your protection!!!”
    This could be just a bit of ammunition in the extortion campaign.
    Or it could be some kind of punishment for buying S400 missiles from Russia.
    I’m sure Trump will forgive them if they buy another $400 billion in arms they don’t need and can’t use.

    • I agree.

      However, what may have caused the Saudi royals more concern was what Khashoggi knew about darker, dirtier matters. And not just the Saudis, but American deep state actors as as well going way back to 9/11.

      The Washington Post this week reported that US intelligence sources knew from telecom intercepts that the Saudis were planning to abduct Khashoggi. So the question is why did the CIA not tip off or move to protect Khashoggi? Perhaps they also were concerned about him going increasingly rogue and revealing more than was permissible?

      Read more here by FINIAN CUNNINGHAM :

    • BigB says

      Or it could be about China, BRI, and investment in NEOM. MBS has been playing his cards close to his chest. He can’t afford to lose China as a client (and he is losing out to Russia). IMO, the Imperium want to force him to show his hand.

        • BigB says

          When uber-capitalists like Branson suddenly develop a conscience over a “dead” journalist …and Dimon and Mnuchin et al threaten to back out of “Davos in the Desert” …call it a hunch. They had no conscience when they were merely bombing schoolchildren and beheading female apostates …that’s peace activists to you and me.

          • Benge says

            He only ‘suspended’ dealngs. A billion dollars from the Saudis is something he isn’t
            capable of missing out on. he wouldn’t sleep at night. He’ll wait till it slips out of the news.

    • MICHAEL LEIGH says

      It is more than highly likely that in the Skripal affair, anything that our Government as well as the traditional mainstream media say or do, should be taken with the proverbial pinch of salt.

      And given that foregoing proviso, I have always considered the Police or Government sourced information that the Sege Skripal and daughter Julia on the afternoon of their alleged public collapse in Salisbury, had earlier that day in the morning around 0915 hours deliberately decided to drive north-west of Saliisbury with all traceable tracking devices switched-off until their return in the afternoon, if true a key fact in the whole mystery?

      Of course this remarkable fact if true, will have been analysed by the investigational authorities by say checking Serge’s cars mileage to estimate the likelyhood of where the Skripal went in the missing period of about five hours.

      And, just perhaps they the investigators might have surmised; that perhaps the Skripals had a meeting at the recently USA developed new chemical weapons research centre at Porton Down, which chemical warfare plant also happens to be located to the north-west of Salisbury.

      And, perhaps concluded that was where the Skripals went to before the alleged poisoning?

      • Paul X says

        Turning off their phones for 4+ hours is strange behaviour. Did they remove the batteries to really stop tracking? Likelihood of a tracker on the vehicle must be high? It seems very unlikely (!) the Spooks don’t know where they went. Chances are it was to the Spooks themselves thrashing out whether Sergei could return to Russia to see his 90 year old mother before she died. His bad temper at lunch suggests he was told the Brits weren’t going to let him go. Headstrong and angry Sergei had to be incapacitated and put into ‘protective custody’. Some imaginative Spooks cooked up the nerve agent theory and then felt obliged to chuck some real stuff around to ‘prove’ it did exist after questions were asked about why everybody survived ‘the World’s most deadly agent’.

        • Seamus Padraig says

          Yeah, that’s the assumption under which I am operating at the moment: that this all, somehow, has something to do with a possible desire on the part of the Skripals to re-defect … or maybe that was just another story spread by the MI6 to dupe the Russians into making contact with the Skripals. We may never know. All I feel sure of is that the official story makes no sense–no cui bono, for openers. What did the Russian government have to gain by waiting for Skripal to leave the country first before whacking him, when they had already had him in custody for 6 long years!

        • Paul X says

          The possible turning of an active agent like Sergei would have attracted Spooks from all agencies. Salisbury must have been full of them that Saturday, watching and listening. The two Russians were likely minders or onlookers who perhaps would have had a role if Sergei insisted on returning to Moscow with his daughter who must have been fully aware of what was happening. If the two were ‘minders’ then they failed badly, no wonder they were exposed to such ridicule and told to make up their own story which they weren’t very good at doing. All sides must have known the importance of Sergei’s decision; the idea every movement, every word spoken wasn’t logged is unlikely. Hearing, perhaps directly from Sergei, that he regarded seeing his mother as more important than protecting British secrets must have been a blow to MI6 leaving them little option but to take him out – along with agent Julia who was perhaps keen her Dad return to the family, especially as she wanted to settle down and have a family in her new Moscow flat.

      • MICHAEL LEIGH says

        Unfortunately, the internet coment ” by a Bristol taxi driver” who claimed he was among five of his colleagues, who had the good luck to be booked by six ‘ seperate USA honey-mooning couples of tourists staying in hotels in the town of Bath, who wanted to each hire a cab for a week of tourism to visiting, Stonehenge and the other sights of that part of the West Country, and presumably including the ” clock at Salisbury cathedral “.

        But, was this rich tourists show really an early start to the North American tourist season?

        And moreoverthe report co-incidentally disappeared from the web up to the ethene outer space two days later, after the Skripal poisoning affair?

        However, cute this story it also prompts the question as to why it was pulled from the web, and was the vistors trip perhaps connected with USA financed Porton Down activities, and indeed does it have any relevance to the the Skripal affair ?

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